Wednesday, May 22, 2013
'You're not doing this in my home': lesbian bed ban sparks threats and abuse
The owners of a New Zealand guesthouse who refused to let a lesbian couple share a bed are standing firm despite threats.
Karen and Michael Ruskin, of Pilgrim Planet Lodge, in central Whangarei, say they have received death threats and verbal abuse over their stance on homosexuality.
But they say they will not have their beliefs silenced, even if it puts their business at risk.
Lesbian couple Jane Collison, 30, and Paula Knight, 45, decided not to stay at the lodge on May 7 after being told they could only have a room with single beds.
They had booked online a room with a king-sized bed but Mrs Ruskin said that when the couple arrived they were told the lodge's policy was for same-sex couples to be put into a room with two king-single beds.
The engaged couple decided not to stay but could not find other accommodation until they got to Waipu.
Mrs Ruskin said she was sorry for the couple's inconvenience but was standing firm on her morals and the sanctity of her home.
The Ruskins live in the bed and breakfast-style lodge, where guests share lounge, kitchen and living areas.
"It's our home - it's not a motel."
Ms Collison filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, because it is illegal to discriminate against someone in the provision of goods and services because of their sexual orientation.
But Mrs Ruskin said there was an exception in the Human Rights Act relating to shared residential accommodation.
She said that in 2010 a gay couple also complained to the commission after being asked to sleep apart, but that complaint was withdrawn when the exception for shared accommodation came to light.
Mrs Ruskin said she and her husband did not hate homosexuals and were happy for them to carry on with their lives.
"Everyone knows what homosexual activity is. It's quite clear if two guys rent one bed you know what's going to happen. We have to protect our other guests."
But Mrs Ruskin said the homosexual community had shown nothing but hate toward the Ruskins' beliefs. "We've been threatened to have our place burnt - it's pretty foul. They have zero tolerance if you say, 'No, you're not doing this in my home'."
The Ruskins acknowledged the lodge was a business but said there needed to be a place for morals in business.
The couple was Antioch Orthodox Christian and had a small chapel inside the lodge, but Mrs Ruskin said she did not discriminate against other religions, and Muslims and Jewish people had stayed in the lodge.
Ms Collison said what went on behind closed doors was none of the Ruskins' business.
"It is a closed bedroom. I'm not allowed to cuddle my partner in a shared bed, but if I walked in there with a random guy I picked up off the street she would let me in. This is my fiancee."
Ex-soldier told to repaint his St George's flag front door by housing association after it was deemed offensive and distressing
For ten years, Steven Rolfe has displayed the flag with pride.
But far from making him a patriotic citizen, his unorthodox St George’s banner has seen him branded a ‘nuisance neighbour’.
The 52-year-old former soldier painted the red and white symbol on his front door in 2003 yet only now have his landlords decided it is ‘offensive’ and must go. He has 14 days to remove it – or face eviction.
Mr Rolfe, who served in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, said: ‘I’ve had this for ten years and nobody has said anything until now.
‘My landlords, Places for People, sent me a letter saying it could be deemed offensive, and that I was breaking my agreement over a nuisance.
‘I wrote back, asking for retrospective permission because it’s been there so long, but they weren’t interested.
'I’m ex-forces and I’m proud to be English. I’m not in the EDL or any other racist group. I’m very angry about this, and I won’t be changing anything. I want my day in court.’
The enforcement notice has sparked outrage among Mr Rolfe’s neighbours in Preston and Muslim groups have criticised the housing company’s stance. Ali Anwar, a Muslim representative on the Preston faith forum, said: ‘As far as I’m concerned, a man’s home is his castle, and he should be allowed to express himself as he wishes.
‘This is political correctness gone mad. As a Muslim it really frustrates me that organisations become overly politically correct and make issues and tensions where there aren’t any. They don’t speak for the Muslim community.
‘The flag of St George needs to be reclaimed from the far right. There is nothing offensive about the flag and anyone who is proud to be English should be able to fly it.’
David Borrow, a former Labour MP who is now a local councillor, said: ‘The door has been like that a long time and, having spoken to the gentleman, I have no reason to believe that he is anything other than a decent member of the community.
‘I do not believe that he has intended the door to symbolise anything offensive, and I have heard no specific complaints. ‘There are other doors in the city that have flags painted on to them, and there appear to be no problems at all.’
John Clemence, who is vice-president of the Royal Society of St George, said: ‘To say that the cross of St George can cause offence needs to be challenged. ‘We are seeing more and more of this kind of complaint, and these jobsworths are causing resentment and inciting racial hatred.’
Places for People, which owns Mr Rolfe’s house, has since apologised for calling the flag offensive but insists its tenant must repaint the door because he did not have the proper permission to turn it into an England flag.
A Places for People spokesman said yesterday: ‘We do apologise for describing the door as offensive, which it is clearly not.
‘Under the customer’s tenancy agreement, they can make alterations and additions to their property, including external decoration, so long as they gain written consent from ourselves and meet our decoration specifications.
‘We have asked Mr Rolfe to repaint his door as he has not requested our permission and his door does not meet our decoration specifications. ‘We are happy to discuss any future changes he may wish to make to his rented property.’
Mr Rolfe, who helps out in a friend’s chip shop, says he has won a Preston Council award for the appearance of his house and has flown the St George’s cross in the past.
Farmer accuses police of acting illegally after they refuse to hand back shotgun he fired at thief
More bastardry from the British police. They HATE self-defence
A farmer, who shot at a metal thief as he attempted to get away in a van, has hit out at police after they refuse to hand back his guns. Bill Edwards, 21, says he has struggled to find work six months despite being cleared of attempted murder because his guns are the tools of his trade.
The man from Scalby, Scarborough claims the police have acted illegally by keeping his property.
He was arrested last summer on suspicion of attempting to murder scrap metal thief David Taylor after he shot at Taylor’s van, loaded with stolen metal from remote farmland at Whin Covert, Riggs Head near Scarborough in North Yorkshire.
Mr Edwards’ four shotguns and two rifles - worth at least £3,000 - were all confiscated when he was arrested last August.
When he was finally released from police bail on December 20, he was given a letter from North Yorkshire Police stating they were going to review his suitability to hold a firearms certificate.
He always maintained he only turned his shotgun on the van because he feared for the life of his mother Louisa Smith, 50, as Taylor sped towards her while he fled the scene.
Taylor claimed that he was simply trying to getaway because Mr Edwards was shooting at him. He was later caught by police in a nearby village after a high speed chase.
Mr Edwards and his mother caught Taylor and an accomplice loading stolen metal cables into the back of his Ford Transit after spotting that outbuildings had been tampered with. The thieves jumped into the van and drove it towards the pair as they desperately dialled 999 for help.
Mr Edwards fired his shotgun, which was loaded with lightweight rabbit shot, several times, hitting the van’s windscreen and bodywork. No one was hurt. Police eventually caught Taylor when Mr Edwards gave chase and gave a running commentary on his mobile phone. But the crook was only charged with metal theft.
The 39-year-old from Scarborough escaped with just a £100 fine for theft after claiming he had been ‘traumatised’ by Mr Edwards shooting at him.
His father Gary, 67, said: ‘It's ironic because when this first happened he was a local hero. The farmers who employ him were queuing up to offer him work.
‘But the police have his guns and his firearms certificate and it seems legally they can take as long as they like to reach a decision.
‘They are still treating him like a criminal for defending his own property and his mother.
‘Bill does not have any work and feels very badly let down by the police.’
Mr Edwards added: ‘They have also got my air rifle which doesn't even require a certificate to possess.
‘They are the tools I need and not having them is costing thousands as my crop is being eaten by pests and I could not have lambs this year without controlling vermin.
‘When I work for other farmers they also require me to control pests. Not being able to do so prevents me getting work and if I do it is low pay.
‘Clay shooting is, was also my main hobby and social activity.’
He argues that once his firearms were taken off him, the police no longer had any legal right to retain them. Legally, Mr Edwards could buy guns and ammunition because his certificate has not yet been revoked.
However, he would need to present his firearms certificate - which the police have also retained.
Mr Edwards added: ‘They are breaking the law. I am left very disappointed with the police as they have illegally held my property since August.
‘Since no further action was taken in December and the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] made a very positive statement regarding my case, the police still have not communicated their decision on whether I am still fit to hold the firearms I need.’
The national representative body for shooting sports, the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, supports Mr Edwards’ cause.
Senior Firearms Officer Matt Perring said: ‘A gun is absolutely essential to a farmer. ‘There is nothing like having your own gun to control the land. ‘Otherwise the land owner can ask anyone else with a shotgun certificate to do the job.’
He said employers needed farm workers who were trusted to carry guns to stop pests and vermin attacking crops. Mr Perring said: ‘Otherwise it's like asking someone to put up a fence with a broken arm.’
Mr Edwards said his family has lost thousands of pounds through theft and damage caused in a number of raids on their land.
North Yorkshire Police Professional Standards are still looking into a complaint from the family into how the whole case was handled.
A police spokesman said: ‘The investigation into Mr Edwards' complaint is still ongoing and so we are not yet in a position to comment.’
Another lying British female: Woman who lied to police and said her ex-boyfriend raped her is jailed for eight months after her own mother reported suspicions
A woman has been jailed for eight months after falsely accusing her ex boyfriend of raping her. Kirsty Debanks, 20, lied that Chris Newitt had attacked her the day after she suffered a miscarriage.
However, she finally admitted that she had made it all up when CCTV showed Mr Newitt was in Oxford city centre with his brother at the time.
Sentencing her, Judge Ian Pringles told Miss Debanks 'Those who suffer genuine rape are undermined by people like you. You undermine the whole system of justice.' He added: 'I would be failing in my duty today if I was not to pass an immediate prison sentence.'
The city's crown court heard that police were called by paramedics to help control Debanks who was claiming to be having a miscarriage.
Prosecutor Jonathan Stone said the next day Debanks told police that Mr Newitt had raped her when she got home from hospital.
Mr Stone told the court: 'She said he had pushed her friend Tracy out of the address. 'He had pushed her (Debanks) down on the sofa. He said: 'You're going to f*** me whether you like it or not'."
Mr Newitt was arrested and questioned in police custody for almost six hours and subjected to forensic testing.
Officers visited her to begin the formal investigation but she told them she did not want to make a complaint only 'wanted the defendant to pay for what he did'.
She also refused a medical appointment and would not sign the officer's notebook to confirm her account.
However, later on she called police to say that she did want to make the complaint. In interview she described the alleged attack to them, saying Mr Newitt's face was 'pure evil'.
Miss Debanks' mother then called police and said something did not ring true in her daughter's account.
Mr Newitt protested that he could not have carried out the attack as he was in Oxford city centre with his brother at the time. When officers viewed CCTV footage it confirmed his account.
Debanks then called police herself and confessed that she had lied.
In her statement she explained that in fact she had gone to the pub with her friend Tracy to drink double vodkas and beers, then gone back to her home to continue drinking and smoke crack cocaine.
Tracy then suggested making the false claim, she said. Debanks only told the truth when her mother warned her the case would go to trial.
'She appeared to show no remorse. In fact she smirked as she gave her account,' Mr Stone told Oxford Crown Court.
Lucy Ffrench, defending, said Debanks had suffered a difficult time, including the loss of her father to cancer and of her uncle in a freak accident, as well as other personal issues.
'She has been looking in the wrong places for the attention she craves,' said Ms Ffrench.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.